Windy City by Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss returns after six long years with this latest record, Windy City, and her fans will be thrilled to know that she knocks it out the park with this sublime release. It was well worth the wait.
It is a selection of Country covers as opposed to her sometime Roots, Bluegrass or Folk offerings. It helps to pick a good selection of 1960’s compositions along with sympathetic and beautiful accompaniment. However, we have to mention the voice! Alison Krauss has a delightful soprano than flows across all the songs like a soothing siren; never anything less than measured and mellifluous but offering a control that changes pace seamlessly.
The first of two Brenda Lee covers start the album with the 1963 hit ballad, "Losing You." It is a beautiful rendition giving way to the up tempo Osborne Bros hit "It’s Goodbye and So Long To You" with delicious slide, honky tonk piano and bar room jazz band outro. The title track, "Windy City," is traditional Country à la Patsy Cline or Kitty Wells but with frankly a sweeter voice. Roger Miller’s River of Rain is an exquisite lyric with more of a rock ballad feel brought back to Country by strings. A true highlight.
Production duties fall to Buddy Cannon who has worked with Kenny Chesney, George Strait, Glen Campbell and Don Williams to name but a few legends. Comparisons to the work that Owen Bradley achieved on k.d langs’s 1988 epic Shadowlands are not out of place. Not least in recognising that this is a wonderful voice and that it needs placing center stage.
If Alison Krauss is someone you’ve followed for years then this acquisition is already on your list. Compared to her other records then it is continuation in terms of the sound, lyric interpretation and feel.
For newcomers then a quick listen will confirm if the sound is for you but I cannot help but think that you’ll quickly become a believer.
Preview Windy City by Alison Krauss